Tell him what you want

Hiding Place (Psalm 32:7)

Ah, there are those days
When the best place to be
Is hiding out with you
Where stillness is to be found
And perspective from problems.
Where hope can be restored
And peace re-enters the mind.
Where joy waits to be savored
And mourning given her due.
Thank you for being my Hiding Place

Joyce Rupp, Fragments of Your Ancient Name

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I had an amazing life intersection with my first grade teacher, Sr. Mary Amy. She is Sr. Joyce Rupp now, an author, a retreat speaker and the co-director of the Institute of Compassionate Presence. The passage above is from the September 18 entry from a devotional she wrote. And today, it put my own prayer into beautiful form.

Psalm 32:7 says “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverence.”

When I was a very little girl and I was sad or scared I had a hiding place that I never told anyone about. (Well, I told Steve recently. I tell him everything. Poor man…) I was scared of the dark when I was young. When it was time for lights out at the end of the night I always wanted Daddy to leave the hall light on and our bedroom door cracked open a bit so I could still see the light. That’s when I could fall asleep. It seems funny to me now. I saw the light. I closed my eyes and it was dark. I went to sleep. But it worked.

In the middle of the night if I woke up and got scared, I went to my hiding place. I got up very quietly so as not to wake up Susan and Jana, crept quietly down the hall so I didn’t wake up Sally and Cathy across from us or Heather and Heidi next to us, made my way stealthily through the kitchen and over to my dad’s room. Then I gently opened his bedroom door, and breathing as silently as I could, closed it behind me…and crawled under the bed. Not in the bed. Under the bed, with the box springs just brushing my face, I would lie there and wait for my heart to stop pounding and just rest knowing that my father was right there. Nothing could harm me or get me. I was protected from trouble, just like the psalmist says.

There is not a lot that scares me anymore. In that I mean I don’t feel afraid for myself. I feel fear for those I love – known and unknown to me – like Jana, the folks in Iraq and Syria and Lebanon, the children at a school where a gunman shows up, journalists and relief workers being held and killed by ISIS.

But I am not afraid of the dark.

I am afraid of darkness, however, like the darkness that has come into our family through the murder of our little sister Cathy. I am afraid that this man has not only killed Cathy but has brought the darkness of what he did to her into our minds and our dreams. What if he gets out? What if he does this again to someone else’s sister or daughter or mother? What if? The light in the hallway is out and even though I remember the way to my dad’s room, he is not there anymore and I can’t crawl under the bed. Even if I could, I’m 55 years old for crying out loud and it hurts to get down that low.

But there it is in Psalm 32 verse 7 and brought back to me by Sr. Joyce this morning. My hiding place is not under a bed. It’s in the arms of my Father God. It’s in the midst of my prayers to him and the songs I sing for him and his arms as Steve holds me and tells me we will get through this together. All of us. He is under my bed and over my bed and beside my bed and he even crawls in there with me.

And he hears my prayers. He speaks with me. He answers. He calms. He offers his peace.

And here is where another intersection/intercession came for me this morning.

On Facebook this morning there was this lovely gift of a song, “Jesus on the Mainline.”

Jesus on the main line, tell Him what you want
Jesus on the main line, tell Him what you want
Jesus on the main line, tell Him what you want
You can call Him up and tell Him what you want

You can call Him up, call Him up and tell Him what you want
You can call Him up, call Him up and tell Him what you want
Call Him up, call Him up and tell Him what you want
Go on, call Him up and tell Him what you want

His line ain’t never busy, tell Him what you want
His line ain’t never busy, tell Him what you want
His line ain’t never busy, tell Him what you want
Go on, call Him up and tell Him what you want

It was being sung by one of those people I love but I’ve never met, Tripp Hudgins, a pastor and doctoral student who blogs at anglobaptist.org. I first read one of his posts at sojo.net several years ago. I was totally blown away by his biography and his writing. He’s a Baptist pastor, serving then at an Episcopal church and writing about a Catholic saint. I printed out the post and shared it with George, my pastor at the time, because it was so ecumenical. I found him on Facebook, and God bless him, he accepted my friend request.

Tripp is a musician along with everything else he is and does. He regularly posts videos of his playing one of the stringed instruments he is such a master of. And he sings in this ocean-deep bass voice that can touch the high notes as well. He lives in California and apparently he gets up very early, as the video of this wonderful song was posted at 7:00 a.m. my time, which is Central, two hours later than his.

And he sang these words of the God who is my hiding place: His line ain’t never busy, tell him what you want. And so I did. “Please Father, send your peace. Send it to my family in the midst of the darkness of justice which is playing hide-and-seek for our sister. Send it to my brothers and sisters in the Middle East where the darkness of ISIS stalks and storms. Send it to a world that needs your light. Bring us out from under the bed into your arms of love.”

In your hiding place, in the dark, or in the sweet light of the sun, tell him what you want.

2 thoughts on “Tell him what you want

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